Identification of genes associated with hereditary cancers facilitates management of patients with family histories of cancer. We performed exome sequencing of DNA from 3 individuals from a family with colorectal cancer who met the Amsterdam criteria for risk of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. These individuals had mismatch repair-proficient tumors and each carried nonsense variant in the FANCD2/FANCI-associated nuclease 1 gene (FAN1), which encodes a nuclease involved in DNA inter-strand cross-link repair. We sequenced FAN1 in 176 additional families with histories of colorectal cancer and performed in vitro functional analyses of the mutant forms of FAN1 identified. We detected FAN1 mutations in approximately 3% of families who met the Amsterdam criteria and had mismatch repair-proficient cancers with no previously associated mutations. These findings link colorectal cancer predisposition to the Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway, supporting the connection between genome integrity and cancer risk.
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© 2015 AGA Institute.